Drunk driving accidents are responsible for nearly a third of all road deaths in Pennsylvania and all across the United States. Despite decades of awareness campaigns to discourage U.S. motorists from operating a vehicle while intoxicated and despite harsh penalties imposed for offenders who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, drunk driving continues to be one of the leading causes of car crashes in Pittsburgh and all across Pennsylvania.
In Pennsylvania, it is prohibited by law to operate a vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. Pennsylvania law imposes a series of penalty tiers for driving under the influence of alcohol, depending on the offender’s BAC (.08, .10, and .16 percent or higher).
“In Pennsylvania, penalties for DUI range from fines and suspension of driver’s license to jail time,” warns our Pittsburgh drunk driving accident attorney at Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman. Interestingly, the drunk driver may not be the only party considered negligent or liable for your injury.
Fact: Driving under the influence increases the likelihood of a car accident because alcohol is responsible for reduced reaction times, loss of concentration and vigilance, drowsiness, and impaired vision, among other things.
Since driving under the influence of booze impairs the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle in a safe manner, you need to stay away from drivers on Pennsylvania roads if you notice any of the following signs of drunk driving:
If you have managed to survive a DUI crash in Pittsburgh or elsewhere in Pennsylvania, you probably want to know what you should do after a drunk driving accident.
“First and foremost, do not panic and stay calm,” advises our DUI accident attorney in Pittsburgh. After a drunk driving crash, the police are your best friends, as they will establish evidence that the other driver’s BAC was above the legally allowed limit in Pennsylvania.
If the at-fault driver, who should not have been operating his or her vehicle that day, is reluctant to pay for your injury and damages, you may need the arresting police officers to testify in court on your behalf. In other words, calling the cops after a DUI accident is the best thing you can do, and so is seeking medical attention at the scene to evaluate the severity of your injury and damage.
Also, if you are able to, do not forget to collect information about the drunk driver, including his or her name, phone number, address, license plate number, make and model of the vehicle, insurance information, and others type of valuable information. Also, do not forget to talk to witnesses and write down their contact information as well.
As we have mentioned earlier, the drunk driver may not be the only party who can be sued for your injury sustained in a DUI crash. Our Pittsburgh drunk driving accident lawyer explains that you may also be able to recover damages from an establishment (bar, nightclub, restaurant, or other) that served the at-fault driver alcohol.
However, for Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop Law to apply in your case, the establishment needs to possess a liquor license, and your will also have to prove that the drunk driver was “visibly intoxicated” at the time alcohol was served to him or her prior to the accident.